Sharp-image diagnosis bridges theory and practice by drawing a broad spectrum of organizational theory and research, yet also responding directly to the distinctive conditions shaping organizational operations and change options. The outcome of sharp-image diagnosis is a model that provides clients with a highly focused, multidimensional image of conditions underlying basic problems and critical challenges. This model contains clear implications for workable ways to resolve problems and to enhance future performance.
The first section introduces diagnosis and argues that diagnostic inquiry can contribute to management decision making even under very turbulent conditions.
The second section examines the contributions of models and frames to diagnosis and cites some of the benefits of incorporating more than one theoretical frame into diagnosis.
The third section outlines our procedure for conducting sharp-image diagnoses.
The fourth part of the chapter examines variations in diagnostic approaches. These variations reflect differences in the contexts in which diagnosis is used, in diagnostic goals, and in the roles played by consultants and members of the focal organization.
The chapter's conclusion discusses the contribution of framing and modelling to diagnostic effectiveness.